From The Cradle

Tonight The Pensive Quill carries a piece by Guest Writer Sean Doyle, Wicklow Branch Independent Workers Union.                                      

From the day we are born our experiences begin. If you want something you protest. You use everything in your arsenal. You cry out and hope someone will hear you and those who care will attend to your needs. But what if there is a disconnect with those who care and the society you are born in to? They see you and those who care as expendable or surplus to requirement. As you grow, that is when right and wrong become clear, it hits you face on. Your conscience and your values comes from the cradle. Before you can express who you are you will spend your lifetime finding and defining but it is as you began.

The system that you were born in to has abysmally failed. Have faith in yourself, listen to your inner, that sense of wrong. You feel and have felt and suppressed it believing that someone else would someday represent and defend your sense of justice that is now drowning in despair. That sense of apathy, powerlessness, inadequacy that is eating away your self esteem, your confidence and your dignity to the extent that you even try to convince yourself for peace sake that you are just a bit depressed, pissed off and tomorrow things will be better. But you know deep down reality will dawn again.

That sense of injustice does not sit well on your shoulders. Every time you turn on the radio the hurt deepens. Stories of people baring their souls to the nation about their circumstances. But you switch off. You have enough to contend with at home. You think maybe if I could get a few hours stacking shelves or something we would be alright. After all it is the way of life, everyone for themselves. The strong devour the weak, suppressing your sense of social justice, again daring not to address the alternative. History repeating itself. It reminds me of the young man’s anger towards his father’s attempt to bring him up to accept that he had betters to bow to and only speak when spoken to and a slap in the ear from his father if not compliant.

The exuberance of youth and free thinking, that sense of equality, a desire to challenge injustice is in his father’s mind going to get him in to trouble in the society that he has reluctantly but grudgingly succumbed to. But what the son does not see is the private weeping of his father every time he suppresses that sense of liberty his son possesses knowing that he shares his son’s views but he too does not want to address the alternative. He and his generation with few exceptions have only postponed the challenge that we must address today for our children’s sake. It reminds me of my own childhood gardening as a young boy with my father. I always went with him to help; in retrospect it was a hindrance. There was this old lady that made her own oatmeal biscuits. She would prepare a tray which was gratefully received by my father and I, to eat in the stick shed not at the dining room or even the kitchen table. But she was such a lady that the robin would eat crumbs from her hand. I don’t know why as a young boy this would stick in my mind as the mountain we have to climb for social justice and equality.

I believe everyone has had experiences of a similar nature that profoundly impacted on their assessment and definition of a free people in a free country. We collectively have the strength and vision to comprehend and give meaning to an alternative through working with communities to strengthen their resolve and overcome unjust financial burdens presently e.g. home tax and water tax which if achieved by 2014 onwards will be 1400 euro+ per home. We must support them to unite and fight for justice and enhance their self-belief in their own ability to control their own destiny. No longer reliant but self-reliant, not controlled but in control is the road forward for people’s freedom. That will no doubt restore dignity and pride a new thinking and rejuvenation of spirit that is being trampled in to the mire through years of governance not fit for purpose with an agenda to conceal and deceive people in to believing that they represented their interests. Their real agenda was the preserve of the elite and their soldiers of fortune in the banks etc.

James Connolly said: ‘In every enemy of freedom we also recognise our enemy though he were as Irish as our hills.’ Our hesitancy to address this concept for various reasons has delayed our development to becoming a true revolutionary movement.

Some young men that will never grow old had their dreams of freedom. Others grew old in the knowledge of a denied freedom. We can no longer tolerate nor should we tolerate false prophets. Our social conscience and thirst for freedom and as I related earlier our sense of justice that is drowning in despair must be our quest.

The creature of habit that we have been moulded into is not conducive to change through years of discouragement of any form of direct action. Seduced with promises and nods and winks - keep your head down we’ll take care of that. Such thoughts wringing in our ears and the risk of falling out of favour, better the devil you know etc, has created prime conditions for the reformist, for exploitation and corruption at every level of society.

Which reminds me of a story: a friend and I were discussing corruption in politics. He said you don’t have to go to Leinster House or big business, it is at every level of politics and has been down through the years. He continued years ago when a lot of men were not the Mae West at writing and as for filling in forms it was a definite no no, but opportunity for exploitation was rife. One man whom shall remain nameless charged ten shillings to fill in forms, medical cards, house applications, clothing, footwear etc. Is it any wonder we have a two tier society. Can you imagine how many ten shillings passed hands in land banks, rezoning, contractors, and developers, not forgetting the banks. 

The society we were born in to has managed to engender a sense of insecurity impeding our ability to assess the diminishing standards of living and the challenge that we must accept to address this two tier society; the robbed and the robbers. Regretfully Connolly’s wisdom has been ignored by the Republican Movement down through the years. He made it absolutely clear - the imperative of national freedom and social freedom as the two strands of the ONE struggle. He predicted if we fought for national freedom without social freedom any government you will elect will only be a committee to manage the affairs of the ruling class and protect their interests.

Some Socialist Republicans were expelled from the Republican Movement for advocating involvement in the class struggle many years ago. The Catholic Church was also pro-capitalist and denounced them as communists and some of our so called patriots were part of the ruling class. James Connolly describes the reality that we must confront there is no alternative:

After Ireland is free, says the patriot who won’t touch socialism, we will protect all classes and if you won’t pay your rent you will be evicted same as now. But the evicting party under the command of the sheriff will wear green uniforms and a harp without the crown and the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic. Now isn’t that worth fighting for.

In conclusion, I reiterate we must have faith in our own ability. The freedom of ordinary working people to enjoy the fruits of their own labour must be the work of the ordinary people.


  1. Sean.

    'Their real agenda was the preserve of the elite and their soldiers of fortune in the banks etc'.

    Absolutely. The crazy thing is that the vote for Gallagher is indicative that the Irish are simply drawing breath and recharging the batteries to have another scoff at the trough.

    That's what has any sane person even more depressed than the economic mess; they are preparing to go at it again, once they have firewalled themselves in the Dail against legal action.

    Devoy said the Irish farmers will never take up pikes for liberty because they'd begrudge the two shillings cost. 'Land' was their interest. No change in the cute hoors then.

    The only way you may get liberation is by finding a way of harnessing and directing their greed and self interest, without them sussing you out. GOOD LUCK.

  2. It was Lalor who comented on farmers and pikes....not to be confused with pikies...

    Devoy was into the 'new departure'.

    I do apologise most profusely.